Belding boys basketball team comes close, falls to Coopersville

By Chip Burch • Last Updated 6:07 pm on Saturday, February 25, 2012

Belding boys varsity basketball coach Brian Babbitt talks to his players on the court after a whistle stops play during the “Pink Out” game Friday night against Coopersville at Belding High School. — Daily News/Cory Smith



Coopersville    6    18    9    11    —    46
Belding    9    11    11    11    —    42
COOPERSVILLE (6-12, 3-9) — VanderKolk 3 5-5 12, Johnson 1 0-0 2, Carey 6 2-2 16, Frye 1 0-0 2, Anderson 0 2-2 2, VanValkenburg 4 2-3 10. Totals: 15 11-12 46. Three-point goals: Carey 4 2-3 10. Total fouls: 14. Fouled out: none.
BELDNG (0-18, 0-12) — Zuver 7 2-6 17, Sailers 1 0-0 2, Sutherland 2 1-2 6, Hart 3 0-0 8, VanDyke 3 3-5 9. Totals: 16 6-13 42. Three-point goals: Zuver, Sutherland, Hart 2. Total fouls: 11. Fouled out: VanDyke.


BELDING — Belding’s boys basketball team came close to winning their first game of the season.

But a three-point shot by Brendan Sutherland stayed out, giving the Coopersville Broncos a 46-42 win over the Redskins at Redskin Arena Friday night.

Belding dropped to 0-18 on the season. They finish the O-K Blue Conference portion of their schedule 0-10.

“I don’t think there was one thing that decided it,” Belding coach Brian Babbitt said. “I thought we got a good look at the last shot. It just didn’t fall for us.”

Belding’s Brendan Zuver attempts a fadeaway jumper over the outstretched hand of Coopersville’s Brad VanValkenburg during the fourth quarter Friday night at Belding. — Daily News/Cory Smith

The Redskins got the first run of the game, getting out to a 6-2 run over the first 6:05 of the opening period.

“I think we played well defensively,” Babbitt said. “We just took care of the ball, got good shots. I don’t think we did anything exceptional in the first quarter. We just got good looks and knocked them down.”

The Broncos (6-12, 3-9) got all six first-period points from Mike Carey, giving Belding a 9-6 lead.
In fact, Carey hit the first five Coopersville field goals of the game. He helped the Broncos score 18 points in the second quarter to put them up 24-20 at the half.

Babbitt knew his team had to lock down Carey in the second half.

“We just talked about a couple of the things we wanted to take away from them that they were doing, how 10 (Carey) was getting loose on us and what we needed to do to keep track of him” he said.

It worked for a little while, as Carey was held off the scoresheet in the third quarter. However his teammate Evan VanderKolk got hot, scoring seven of the nine Bronco points in the half.

Coopersville got out on a 7-2 run to lead by nine halfway through the third period but was outscored 9-2 the rest of the way.

“They (Coopersville) stepped it up defensively, got some stops, and they played well in that stretch,” Babbitt said. “We lost our focus, but we came right back and beat them by two in the third quarter.”
That didn’t last long, as the Broncos got out on a 9-1 run in the first half of the fourth quarter to lead 42-32, only to see Belding run off eight straight to get the deficit to two with 2:20 left in the game.

Brad VanValkenburg scored a bucket with 53 seconds left, followed by a Brendan Zuver layup 30 seconds later for a 44-42 score. After Coopersville turned the ball over, leading to Sutherland’s attempt to win it.

“I think defensively we got some stops and got some easy buckets,” Babbitt said.
VanderKolk added two free throws with one second left for the final score.

Zuver led the five Redskins who scored points with 17. Ron VanDyke added nine.

Carey finished with 18 points, VanderKolk added 12 and VanValkenburg scored 10 more for 40 of the 46 Bronco points.

Belding is off until Tuesday when they host in-county rival Ionia.

“We just keep working together and go after it,” Babbitt said.

Belding High School students participating in a group cheer wore pink for the Belding “Pink Out” boys and girls varsity basketball games Friday night against Coopersville at Belding High School. Students and members of the community were encouraged to wear pink to the first annual “Pink Out” boys and girls varsity basketball games at Belding High School. The event was put on by the B Foundation to raise awareness and funds to help battle against cancer. — Daily News/Cory Smith

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